Saturday, January 25, 2014

The Miserable Mill

I really liked the idea of students being in charge of their own small groups, so I gave them large pieces of butcher paper, set guide lines and let them run with it.

We've worked a lot on keeping track of characters, so that was their first focus:

Since some groups were in the middle of novels, they didn't want to change the way they took notes until their next book switch (makes sense to me!).  We've spent a lot of time developing the "left side" of our brains by making lots of charts, changing colors each time and being systematically analytical.

However, just because I'm type A doesn't mean all my students are.  So I embraced the creative idea as well and modeled a less structured way of keeping track of the way a character changes over time.

They really liked this strategy so I think I'll keep allowing them the choice of how they want to organize their notes.  After all, my ultimate goals are to make them life-long avid readers and empower them to take ownership over their learning.  It truly doesn't matter how they take notes and respond to the literature, I just care that they're able to comprehend what they read, discuss the big ideas and be critical thinkers.

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